Special Collections

Asian American Fiction K-12

Description: Explore the wide range of identities under the Asian/Pacific American umbrella with these K-12 books from the Asian/Pacific American Library Association's Literature Award and the National Education Association's Asian American Booklist. #kids #teens


Showing 1 through 25 of 62 results
 

Bee-bim Bop!

by Linda Sue Park

Bee-bim bop (the name translates as "mix-mix rice”) is a traditional Korean dish of rice topped, and then mixed, with meat and vegetables. In bouncy rhyming text, a hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.

The energy and enthusiasm of the young narrator are conveyed in the whimsical illustrations, which bring details from the artist’s childhood in Korea to his depiction of a modern Korean American family. Even young readers who aren’t familiar with the dish will recognize the pride that comes from helping Mama, the fun of mixing ingredients together in a bowl, and the pleasure of sharing delicious food. Includes author’s own recipe.

Date Added: 04/24/2019


Category: Children's

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

by Uma Krishnaswami

Nine-year-old Maria Singh longs to play softball in the first-ever girls' team forming in Yuba City, California. It's the spring of 1945, and World War II is dragging on. Miss Newman, Maria's teacher, is inspired by Babe Ruth and the All-American Girls' League to start a girls' softball team at their school. Meanwhile, Maria's parents--Papi from India and Mama from Mexico--can no longer protect their children from prejudice and from the discriminatory laws of the land. When the family is on the brink of losing their farm, Maria must decide if she has what it takes to step up and find her voice in an unfair world. In this fascinating middle grade novel, award-winning author Uma Krishnaswami sheds light on a little-known chapter of American history set in a community whose families made multicultural choices before the word had been invented.

Date Added: 04/24/2019


Category: Children's

Rickshaw Girl

by Mitali Perkins

In her Bangladesh village, ten-year-old Naimi excels at painting designs called alpanas, but to help her impoverished family financially she would have to be a boy--or disguise herself as one.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

by Uma Krishnaswami and Abigail Halpin

Rose petal milk shakes and a world of surprises awaits Dini when her family moves to India in this spirited novel with Bollywood flair.

Eleven-year old Dini loves movies--watching them, reading about them, trying to write her own--especially those oh-so-fabulous Bollywood movies where you don't need to know the language to get what's going on. But when her mother reveals some big news, it does not at all jibe with the script Dini had in mind. Her family is moving to India. And not even to Bombay, which is the "center of the filmi universe" (and home to Dini's all-time most favorite star, Dolly Singh). No, they're moving to a teeny, tiny town that she can't even find on a map: Swapnagiri. It means Dream Mountain, a sleepy little place where nothing interesting can happen....

But wait a movie minute! Swapnagiri is full of surprises like rose petal milk shakes, mischievous monkeys, a girl who chirps like a bird, and...could it be...Dolly herself?

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Alvin Ho

by Lenore Look and Leuyen Pham

Here's the first book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers. Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything--elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He's so afraid of school that, while he' s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he's a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad. From Lenore Look and New York Times bestselling illustrator Leuyen Pham comes a drop-dead-funny and touching series with a truly unforgettable character.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Big Red Lollipop

by Rukhsana Khan

Ages 4 and up. RUBINA IS INVITED to her first ever birthday party! She can't wait for the games, cake, fun . . . and party favors. But her mom doesn't know what a birthday party is--it's new to her--and she insists that Rubina bring her little sister along. That isn't the way it's supposed to work, but Rubina has no choice. And it turns out that having pesky Sana at the party isn't nearly as bad as what she does afterward!

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Name Jar

by Yangsook Choi

The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it--Yoon-Hey. From the Hardcover edition.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Suki's Kimono

by Chieri Uegaki

Suki's favorite possession is her blue cotton kimono. A gift from her obachan, it holds special memories of her grandmother's visit last summer. And Suki is going to wear it on her first day back to school -- no matter what anyone says.

When it's Suki's turn to share with her classmates what she did during the summer, she tells them about the street festival she attended with her obachan and the circle dance that they took part in. In fact, she gets so carried away reminiscing that she's soon humming the music and dancing away, much to the delight of her entire class! Filled with gentle enthusiasm and a touch of whimsy, Suki's Kimono is the joyful story of a little girl whose spirit leads her to march -- and dance -- to her own drumbeat.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

When the Sea Turned to Silver

by Grace Lin

Pinmei's gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night.

Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei's grandmother--before it's too late.

A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Full Cicada Moon

by Marilyn Hilton

Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what’s right

It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices.

She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec.

And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.

This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.

Jane Addams Children’s Book Honors Winner

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Drum Dream Girl

by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule--until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Father's Chinese Opera

by Rich Lo

The Chinese opera is anything but boring. Songs, acrobatics, acting, and costumes make the opera a truly spectacular show to behold. Spending a summer backstage at his father's Chinese opera, a young boy is instantly enamored with the performers and works hard to be a part of the show. Rehearsing the moves day and night with the show's famous choreographer, the boy thinks he is soon ready to perform with the others. But the choreographer doesn't agree. In fact, he laughs at the boy when asked to join the others in the acrobatics part of the opera. Upset, the boy runs home to sulk. What will he do next? Will he give up, or will he persevere and work his way up in the show?

In an exotic and intriguing story that draws on author Rich Lo's personal life, and features his own bright, mesmerizing illustrations, Father's Chinese Opera teaches children about hard work, patience, and the commitment needed to achieve an important goal, while introducing them to an important part of Chinese culture.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Vine Basket

by Josanne La Valley

Things aren't looking good for fourteen-year-old Mehrigul. She yearns to be in school, but she's needed on the family farm. The longer she's out of school, the more likely it is that she'll be sent off to a Chinese factory . . . perhaps never to return. Her only hope is an American woman who buys one of her decorative vine baskets for a staggering sum and says she will return in three weeks for more. Mehrigul must brave terrible storms, torn-up hands from working the fields, and her father's scorn to get the baskets done. The stakes are high, and time is passing. A powerful intergenerational story of a strong, creative young artist in a cruelly oppressive society.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Thing About Luck

by Cynthia Kadohata and Julia Kuo

Summer knows that kouun means “good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan—right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills.

The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding, and between helping Obaachan cook for the workers, covering for her when her back pain worsens, and worrying about her lonely little brother, Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss’s cute son. But notice she does, and what begins as a welcome distraction from the hard work soon turns into a mess of its own.

Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished—but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself, even if it means further displeasing Obaachan. Because it might be the only way to save her family.

Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan

by Hildi Kang

Chengli is an orphaned errand boy who lives in Chang'an China in 630 A.D. His mother has died from illness and his father is presumed dead after disappearing into the desert when Chengli was a baby.

Now thirteen, Chengli feels ready for independence. He is drawn to the desert, beckoned by the howling of strange winds and the hope of learning something about his father-who he was and how he died. Chengli joins a caravan to travel down the merchant route known as the Silk Road, but it is a dangerous life, as his father knew. The desert is harsh, and there are many bandits-bandits interested in Chengli's caravan because a princess, her servants, and royal guards are traveling with them. But the desert is full of amazing places and life-changing experiences, as the feisty princess learns the meaning of friendship and Chengli learns the heroism of which he is capable.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

A humorous and heartwarming debut about split cultural identities, and all the ways life fails to go according to plan for sixth-grader Lucy Wu.

Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She's ready to rule the school as a sixth grader, go out for captain of the school basketball team, and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister. In an instant, though, her plans are shattered when she finds out that Yi Po, her beloved grandmother's sister, is coming to visit for several months -- and is staying in Lucy's room.

Lucy's vision of a perfect year begins to crumble, and in its place come an unwelcome roommate, foiled birthday plans, a bully who tries to scare Lucy off the basketball team, and Chinese school with the annoying know-it-all Talent Chang. Lucy's year is ruined -- or is it?

A wonderfully funny, warm, and heartfelt tale about the ways life often reveals silver linings in the most unexpected of clouds.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The House Baba Built

by Ed Young and Libby Koponen

This book is a nostalgic picture book memoir by Ed Young, one of our most beloved children's illustrators, about his childhood in Shanghai.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Bamboo People

by Mitali Perkins

Narrated by two teenaged boys on opposing sides of the conflict between the Burmese government and the Karenni, one of Burma's many Ethnic minorities, this coming-of-age novel takes place against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma. Chiko isn't a fighter by nature. He's a book-loving Burmese boy whose father, a doctor, is in prison for resisting the government. Tu Reh, on the other hand, wants to fight for freedom after watching Burmese soldiers destroy his Karenni family's home and bamboo fields. Timidity becomes courage and anger becomes compassion when the boys' stories intersect.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Tofu Quilt

by Ching Yeung Russell

Growing up in 1960s Hong Kong, a young girl dreams of becoming a writer in spite of conventional limits placed on her by society and family.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Year of the Dog

by Grace Lin

It's the Chinese Year of the Dog, and as Pacy celebrates with her family, she finds out that this is the year she is supposed to "find herself." Universal themes of friendship, family, and finding one's passion in life make this novel appealing to readers of all backgrounds. This funny and profound book is a wonderful debut novel by a prolific picture book author and illustrator and has all the makings of a classic.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Sixteen Years In Sixteen Seconds

by Paula Yoo

The inspirational true story of Sammy Lee, a Korean American who overcame discrimination to realize both his father's desire that he become a doctor and his own dream of becoming an Olympic champion diver.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Firekeeper's Son

by Linda Sue Park

In Korea in the early 1800s, news from the countryside reached the king by means of signal fires. On one mountaintop after another, a fire was lit when all was well. If the king did not see a fire, that meant trouble, and he would send out his army. Linda Sue Park's first picture book for Clarion is about Sang-hee, son of the village firekeeper. When his father is unable to light the fire one night, young Sang-hee must take his place. Sang-hee knows how important it is for the fire to be lit-but he wishes that he could see soldiers . . . just once. Mountains, firelight and shadow, and Sunhee's struggle with a hard choice are rendered in radiant paintings, which tell their own story of a turning point in a child's life. Afterword.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Apple Pie Fourth Of July

by Janet S. Wong

No one wants Chinese food on the Fourth of July, I say. We're in apple-pie America, and my parents are cooking chow mein!. . . They just don't get it. Americans do not eat Chinese food on the Fourth of July. Right? Shocked that her parents are cooking Chinese food to sell in the family store on this all-American holiday, a feisty Chinese-American girl tries to tell her mother and father how things really are. But as the parade passes by and fireworks light the sky, she learns a lesson of her own. This award-winning author-illustrator team returns with a lighthearted look at the very American experience of mixed cultures.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Listen, Slowly

by Thanhha Lai

This remarkable novel from Thanhhà Lại, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning and Newbery Honor Book Inside Out & Back Again, follows a young girl as she learns the true meaning of family.

A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach.

Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War.

Mai's parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture.

But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be.

Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives.

To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Linda Sue Park, Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.

Date Added: 04/25/2019


Category: Middle Grade

The House That Lou Built

by Mae Respicio

A coming-of-age story that explores culture and family, forgiveness and friendship, and what makes a true home. Perfect for fans of Wendy Mass and Joan Bauer.

Lou Bulosan-Nelson has the ultimate summer DIY project. She's going to build her own "tiny house," 100 square feet all her own. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother's house, and longs for a place where she can escape her crazy but lovable extended Filipino family.

Lou enjoys her woodshop class and creating projects, and she plans to build the house on land she inherited from her dad, who died before she was born.

But then she finds out that the land may not be hers for much longer. Lou discovers it's not easy to save her land, or to build a house. But she won't give up; with the help of friends and relatives, her dream begins to take shape, and she learns the deeper meaning of home and family.

Date Added: 04/24/2019


Category: Middle Grade


Showing 1 through 25 of 62 results